Everything you wanted to know about OOC schedules – and more

The Wizard of Odds posted some thoughts yesterday about cupcake scheduling, pointing to this remarkable post on the subject of non-conference scheduling over at the blog The National Championship Issue.

What I really like about the TNCI post is that it’s focused not on how a school’s non-conference schedule turned out when played, but on what the school’s intent was when it arranged the schedule in the first place.  In analyzing the issue, TNCI was governed by four rules of thumb.

  • So a team that is willing to play on the road is accepting a more difficult challenge than those who stay at home.
  • So overall, teams that schedule BCS teams as opposed to non-BCS or I-AA teams are accepting a more difficult challenge than those who don’t.
  • Teams looking for a challenge aren’t afraid to schedule teams with a high 5-year average or high win total.
  • a team with a top 10 finish in the last five years is going to be more challenging that one that doesn’t, while a team with zero votes in the last five years isn’t going to be as challenging as one who has earned votes.

He’s got numbers to back up all of those propositions.

The Wiz does a good job of summarizing all of this (although I could do without the gratuitous “Georgia doesn’t travel” shot) – and the fact is that the SEC does try its best to keep the OOC stuff weak.  Here are the specifics on Georgia’s and Florida’s non-conference scheduling as examples.  Keep in mind that these two are pretty much head of the class in the SEC.

The real badges of honor come at the post’s end:  the ten weakest OOC schedules of the BCS era.  The SEC has six schools on that list of ten, including the most infamous because of its context, the 2004 Auburn Tigers.

It’s an exhaustive, fascinating job.  Take some time to wade through it.


Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

2 responses to “Everything you wanted to know about OOC schedules – and more

  1. Thomas Brown

    What is your fixation with discussions of “SCHEDULES” when all you want to point out is some stupid comments on “SCHEDULES” that always breaks down the “SCHEDULES” to simply just only a discussion of out-of-conference games.

    Get a grip Bluto. A schedule is all the teams a team plays that year, not some subset thereof.


  2. Thomas Brown

    Also, as for the 2004 Auburn Tigers, this is the very reason why teams such as Big XII Oklahoma fans want to talk about nothing but out-of-conference teams on your schedule when discussing SEC Teams’ Schedules in fact :

    Auburn beat Final AP Poll # 7 UGA.
    Auburn beat Final AP Poll # 13 vols.
    Auburn beat Final AP Poll # 16 LSU.
    Auburn beat Final AP Poll # 13 vols.
    Auburn beat Final AP Poll # 10 VT.

    That is 5 Wins over Final AP Poll Top 16 teams, for the Final AP Poll Number 2 team Auburn 2004.

    Excuse me again, but that is very impressive obviously.

    Who did Oklahoma beat 2004 who were Top 16 Final AP Poll teams ? Do you know, while you sit there writing this paragraph about what someone wrote about o-o-c schedules 2004 ?

    Oklahoma beat Final AP Poll No. 5 TX.

    This, these 5 Wins by Auburn 2004 over Final AP Poll Top 16 ranked teams, to the one lone Win by Oklahoma 2004 against Final AP Poll Top 16 teams, is why the only discussion of 2004 Football Season shows that Auburn ended the season Number 2 in the Final AP Poll and not cupcake schedule playing Oklahoma.